Actors: Jacki Weaver, Liana Liberato, Harrison Gilbertson
Director: Mac Carter
Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Widescreen, NTSC
Number of discs: 1
Rated: R (Restricted)
Studio: MPI HOME VIDEO
DVD Release Date: June 10, 2014
Run Time: 85 minutes
There are a number of technical aspects which are competently made within Haunt, but they are so far removed from the logic of the film and its storyline that this film feels more like the ghost of better haunted house films than an original story of its own. The biggest problem is a complete lack of character development, not to mention the missing cohesion between the cast members meant to be a family. There is no feeling of connection between the family members, mostly because the characters don’t feel developed enough to matter to each other. This film is far more interested in well-photographed eerie and foreboding images, and a few special-effects driven scares enhanced by a noisy soundtrack. In other words, this is like a dozen other haunted house films, instantly forgettable for having nothing to set it apart.
The Asher family moves into a remote house that is said to be haunted, but parents Emily and Alan (Ione Skye and Brian Wimmer) don’t believe in ghosts and scoff at the dangers that their children are quicker to believe. Only son Evan (Harrison Gilbertson) meets a young teen named Sam (Liana Liberato) escaping from an abusive home, who encourages him to investigate the paranormal activity in the home. Sam conveniently knows where to find a device which allows them to speak to the dead, inviting some generic haunting and possession sequences. Some of the twists are easily predictable, and others are just so generic that they don’t even feel like twists.
Even the expected moments of horror are too far apart within this convoluted film to be effective. There are certainly a few horrific images created fro the film, but they never interact with the story, characters or screenplay in a way that is cohesive or coherent. All of the elements of the film are individually competent, but director Mac Carter is unable to make them work together. The DVD includes a commentary track with Carter. There are also a number of behind-the-scenes featurettes, including one for the visual effects in the film. Also included are cast/crew interviews and the Morello case file videos and home movies.
Entertainment Value: 3.5/10
Quality of Filmmaking: 4/10
Historical Significance: 2/10